Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon (10) can't hang on to a pass asnst Ohio State defensive back C.J. Barnett (4) defends in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Carlos Hyde ran for 146 yards and No. 4 Ohio State's defense shut out 20th-ranked Michigan in the second half to grab a bruising 26-21 victory on Saturday, completing an improbable 12-0 season for the Buckeyes.
It was a sweet win for the Buckeyes, just 6-7 last season with a loss to their archrivals in a transitional year in which they were facing heavy NCAA penalties. After Urban Meyer took the job as head coach a year ago, they were socked with a bowl ban after this season — and still ran the table.
Ohio State (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten) is ineligible for a BCS national title but still has an outside shot at finishing No. 1 in the final Associated Press Top 25 if other contenders lose. Michigan (8-4, 6-2) will now await a minor bowl bid.
Drew Basil matched his season output with four field goals and the defense did the rest, forcing three turnovers in the second half.
It was played before 105,899, the largest crowd ever to witness "The Game" in Columbus.